Tailoring, murdering, and cooking might sound like a grisly combination of activities, but that’s exactly what you do in Ravenous Devils as you look to run two businesses with a bit of a bloody twist. The concept alone was enough to catch my attention, but does it actually make for an enjoyable gameplay experience?
Check out some screenshots down below:
Taking place in Victorian London, Ravenous Devils puts players in the role of married couple Percival and Hildred as they look to establish both a tailoring and food business. They have a dark secret though: Percival is murdering some of his tailoring clientele and Hildred is then cooking them up into the meals she serves to her customers. Hey, meat is expensive, so business owners have to come up with some slick ideas to make ends meet, right?
Small interactions between Percival and Hildred push the story forward in-between working days, with the discovery that someone knows about their *secret* ingredient acting as the main plot point. It’s up to you to fix the situation and ensure that the gruesome twosome’s business remains a thriving one.
The whole concept and narrative of Ravenous Devils is great. It’s unique, it’s clever, and I was eager to see how events would pan out, especially when Percival and Hildred start to be blackmailed. Whilst the story details are mostly limited to minor interactions and static images, they didn’t stop the dastardly scenario from being intriguing from start to end.
“Having to switch between the three floors of the business could be fiddly, with it easy to lose track of what tasks have been completed and what needs to be done next.”
The gameplay, though? It’s a bit of a mixed bag and didn’t really have the depth to remain fun for long. Players have to switch between the three different parts of the business: tailoring, cooking, and then selling meals to customers, with new upgrades unlocked as you progress that allow you to expand each aspect in varying ways. When tailoring, players have to balance out murdering to get the materials to make clothes (as well as the bodies for Hildred to cook), cleaning up the blood left behind not to raise suspicion, putting together clothes, and then having them on display to sell to customers. When cooking, they have to blend the bodies into ingredients, prepare each meal, cook it, and then take it up to the shop floor to ensure that it remains stocked. If there’s no food or clothes for sale, you won’t make money, so you’ve got to make sure you’re constantly switching between tasks to keep on top of things.
The best thing to compare it to would be Overcooked, with players having to constantly switch between the time-consuming roles on a regular basis whilst multi-tasking in order to have the most success. It can be fun for a while too, especially as you learn the mechanics, figure out the best routine, and try working at a faster pace. It’s cool to see what upgrades you can unlock, with some making life easier for you and others expanding what you can actually offer customers.
Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for some frustrations to kick in. Having to switch between the three floors of the business could be fiddly, with it easy to lose track of what tasks have been completed and what needs to be done next. It gets more complex as you unlock more upgrades too, with additional recipes and expanded shopfloors meaning you’ll have to prep more items for customers – it means more multi-tasking and more stressful time management. Repetition kicks in quickly, especially since you’re always working in the same building. Sure, you might get some different objectives, but they rarely challenge you to actually do anything different in the game outside of following the same looped process of tailoring, murdering, and cooking.
Check out some screenshots down below:
It didn’t help that the controls could be a little clumsy, with it sometimes awkward to move the cursor to individual actions whilst constantly switching between floors. In fairness, the Nintendo Switch does have touchscreen controls that make things a bit easier, but Ravenous Devils is definitely the kind of game that’s best played with a keyboard and mouse. It’s manageable with a controller, but takes some getting used to.
It’s worth noting that the visuals could be a little blurry on the Nintendo Switch, specifically in the handheld mode in which I primarily played. I wouldn’t say it looks ugly and I was a big fan of the Victorian aesthetic, but the lower resolution is obvious and brings a sense of fuzziness to the overall presentation.
Whilst it has flaws, the fact that Ravenous Devils only takes between two-to-three hours to beat does sweeten the deal a little, especially since it ensures the game’s repetitive nature doesn’t drag it down TOO much. I did like some things about the game after all (especially with the story), so it made it easier to appreciate those aspects without feeling like I was wasting too much time playing it. It’s available for less than a fiver too, so you won’t be breaking the bank too much if you want to give it a try… and who knows, you might enjoy it a lot more than I did.
Ravenous Devils Review
Ravenous Devils has a unique concept that I really liked, but the execution felt repetitive and lacked the depth to keep me hooked in. Whilst it does have its enjoyable moments when killing, tailoring, and cooking, the clumsy controls and repetitive nature meant that it didn’t take long for me to tire of it – even IF it did take less than three hours to beat.
Still, there’s something likable about Ravenous Devils and I’m sure it’ll appeal more to certain folk more than me. I just wished it offered a little bit more variety and depth to live up to the otherwise intriguing (and undeniably gruesome) premise.
Developer: Bad Vices Games
Publisher: Bad Vices Games
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC